Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Exclude ‘creamy layer’ from SC/ST reservations, says SC

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that “creamy layer exclusion” principle, till date applied only to OBCs, can be extended to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to deny reservation to the “elite” among the two underprivileged communities.
The order of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indu Malhotra overshadowed the relief they gave to the Centre, states and SC & ST government employees in exempting states from collecting quantifiable data on backwardness to justify reservation in promotion for the two categories.

The bench said their backwardness has been recognised as inherent to them after statutorily provided scrutiny to warrant inclusion in the list of scheduled communities under Presidential Order to get reservation benefits.

The requirement to furnish quantifiable data, laid down by the apex court in the M Nagraj case in 2006, to justify reservation in promotions for SC & ST employees has held up the elevation of serving employees from the two categories, leading to restiveness in their ranks. But the extension of “creamy layer” criterion is sure to temper the happiness over the bench doing away with the mandatory requirement to back up the case for promotion in quota by marshalling data on backwardness.

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